Wednesday, July 23, 2014
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A chronicle of American life through food

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The Kitchen Sisters, Davia Nelson, left, and Nikki Silva, in MPR's lounge. They were eating lunch prepared by cooks at the Central Presbyterian Church, one of our "hidden kitchens" in St. Paul. (MPR Photo/Tom Crann)

St. Paul, Minn. — If you're a regular listener, you may have heard the work of The Kitchen Sisters on Morning Edition. They've been a radio production team for more than 25 years. Their "Lost and Found Sound" series for NPR won them two Peabody awards.

Their latest project, "Hidden Kitchens," documents the way we gather and cook food in the most unexpected places, and a book about that project has just been published.

"Hidden Kitchens" explores the world of street-corner cooking, kitchen rituals, legendary meals and eating traditions.

The book includes stories and characters from the radio series, along with more than 100 photos and images as well as some 30 recipes from some of those hidden kitchens the sisters visited.

Despite their recent work, the Kitchen Sisters are not just foodies. Their work has been wide-ranging over the years.

And, unlike the Tappet Brothers of "Car Talk," Davia Nelson and Nikki Silva are not siblings either. They took their name from local Santa Cruz legendary artists, a pair of brothers known as Kenneth and Raymond Kitchen.

Nelson and Silva spoke with MPR's Tom Crann. To listen to the interview, choose the audio link in the right column.

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